Saturday, February 25, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
"the domesticated frijol gordo...of the sierra norte de puebla has been traditionally grown as a vine on maize plants in multiple cropping milpas of the nahua, who gather the late-ripening pods after the maize harvestat the end of the growing season. with an increased demand for for beans in the early growing season, precocious forms have been selected to provide green pods before the maize harvest."
mexican ethnobotany diversity. biodiversity and native america. paul e. minis and wayne j. elisens, eds. p.53
"the indians of this region practiced a series of gardening techniques, including staggered planting times, planting in evenly spaced holes, and interplanting different kinds of crops."
ethnohistory in the southeaster united states. biodiversity amnd native america.p.287
i have been doing some more reading about intercropping in milpas ( thanks for the book coach...you always seem to pick a winner ) and stagger plantings... i have received all the seeds i have ordered for next season and will receive seed potatoes from suppliers as their planting times arrive...i will be planting from the middle of next month through july ( outside the garlic, winter wheat, asparagus,chinese yams, and jerusalem artichokes i already have in the ground ) and i will be harvesting from june through november ( and beyond if you count digging tubers in the winter )...i will be intercropping maize, squash, sunflowers, potatoes, and beans ( along with an herb garden, some leeks, and onions ) the photo is of the scarlet runner bean i planted around the beginning of the year just so i would know one when i saw it...it is a "precocious form" that starts in cool weather, stops producing in the heat of summer, and may begin producing again in the autumn...it has thrown out a vine more than three feet long and i am running out of dowel rod in its current pot...i am pondering how to provide more vining room that i can move into the back yard when the weather breaks...should be an impressive vine by then...it may even give the chinese yams and the cowpeas ( forgot to mention cowpeas...an indispensable part of the nitrogen retention scheme and mainline nitrogen fixer) some competition for the longest vine ( it will not defeat the chinese yams for number of vines produced however...and the cowpeas are no slouches in vine length...more interesting data to collect )...we got about six inches of snow last night but it won't last long...i can smell the soil now.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
the apple trees are coming along pretty well...the scarlet runner bean had grown and has put out a vine that is approximately three feet long ( you can see it to the right in the second photo and wrapping itself around the dowel rods i put in the pot on the left in the two bottom photos )...all the organic and heirloom seeds for the spring garden have arrived ( more germination soon ) and i have potatoes that i bought and freebies from the usda coming...the winter wheat on campus and in the back yard is confused...and in a bit more than a month the spring planting of teosinte begins...and the unmulching of the asparagus...it hasn't been much of a winter really and as far as preparation for a new season goes time's just about up...can't wait.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
just another photographic commentary on the weather...this wheat is so far from dormant that i think it's actually spreading and thickening...if the weather doesn't turn and kill it i should have a good harvest for the continuing "green manure" project.
...which is something i don't believe i could have done last february fifth...but the weather has been so weirdly mild this winter that i was somewhat concerned that when i went out back to dig some up i might find them actually growing...they were not and i dug up a heaping bowlful to store in the refrigerator and the freezer to use in salads and casseroles and i cut some up and plan to fry them in peanut oil ( which i acquired specifically for this purpose to fend off further criticism over my inconsistency in decrying hfcs and yet using corn oil )...i have left the cache pit i lined to experiment with sub-freezing tuber retrieval untouched since there hasn't been enough freezing weather to warrant an attempt...the climate seems to be determined to thwart that particular facet of this seasons learning in the garden...trial and error seems to me to be a basis for cultural advancement and nobody gets it exactly right the first time...refinement as a first principle in anthropology...or pretty much anything else...i'm going to make brunch now...refine my frying technique.